The Cardinals needed cornerbacks, and they got one who made his reputation in their stadium.
And there was a reason GM Steve Keim said not to panic when it came to the team's cornerback situation.
Veteran Malcolm Butler, whose goal-line interception of Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in Super Bowl XLIX at State Farm Stadium won a title for the New England Patriots, agreed to a one-year deal Thursday with the Cardinals. NFL Network reported the deal was for "up to" $6 million, so the base figures to be less, a bargain under the circumstances.
He figures to immediately slide into the No. 1 cornerback role. The Cardinals lost longtime No. 1 cornerback Patrick Peterson last week in free agency when Peterson signed with the Vikings.
Butler, who turned 31 earlier this month, started all 16 games for the Tennessee Titans last season with four interceptions. In his seven-year career – his first four in New England, the last three with Tennessee – he has 17 picks.
Butler also had a career-best 100 total tackles last season, and 14 passes defensed. He was released by the Titans for salary cap reasons, as he was scheduled to have a $14.2 million cap number for 2021.
His arrival is a big step toward helping the position this season. Byron Murphy will be the slot corner, while Robert Alford – who has missed the last two seasons with injury – will battle to be the No. 2. The Cardinals likely still need to address the position more, but options remain on the free-agent market, and there are also good prospects in the upcoming draft.